How I Managed to Get Years of Hormonal Acne Under Control

There is nothing more frustrating than waking up with a new friend on your face the morning of a big interview or class presentation. I know how hard it is not to pop that irritating pimple right away, but it will heal itself and go away in no time if you just let it run its course. Instead of stressing yourself out even more, treat it as you normally would and then let it be. Below I have accumulated a list of habits that I have incorporated into my life that made a notable difference in the appearance of my skin. My acne journey has been a long and frustrating one that is nowhere close to being over, but I have made significant strides and you can too!

1. Bid farewell to dairy

In any other case, I would not advocate for adopting restrictive eating habits, but cutting dairy out of my diet proved to be one of the best things I could have done for my skin. I notice how I do not get stress pimples, but rather if I eat plain yogurt or a pastry that contains dairy, the next morning I will have a tiny flare-up. Dairy products often contain artificial hormones that may cause your own hormones to be thrown off balance, resulting in acne prone skin. Adopting a mostly dairy-free diet about two years ago truly made all the difference and I wish I had made the switch sooner. 

Read more about the effects of dairy on your skin: https://www.healthline.com/health/dairy-and-acne#what-the-research-says

2. Less is more...stick to the basics

I used to think I had to have a ten step skincare routine to achieve the acne-free skin I had always wanted. After a while I realized all I needed was a gentle face cleanser, face scrub/exfoliator, a serum, and moisturizer that did not break my bank or take more than thirty minutes to complete my routine; I truly believe that less is more. It does take time and effort to find what products truly work for you, but it is worth it to develop a routine and find those staples. In the morning, I usually only splash my face with cold water, apply a serum, moisturizer on top, and then finish off with sunscreen. At night, I occasionally like to use an oil-based face wash to cleanse my face and exfoliate once or maybe twice a week. 

3. Hydrate!

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, therefore, it makes it that much more important that you properly nourish and care for it. Doing your best to ensure you are always hydrated serves a variety of benefits not only for your body, but your skin as well. Benefits include maintaining your skin’s elasticity which combats the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a more radiant-looking glow through the release of toxins, and reducing redness/hyperpigmentation.

4. Stop touching and picking at your face!

Not touching my face or picking at pesky breakouts is probably one of the most difficult habits I have ever had to break. It is so easy to casually lean on your hand while sitting at a table or rub your face when you’re tired, but please do not do it! Squeezing and picking at a breakout can cause scarring, discoloration, and uneven texture. When you constantly touch your face, the bacteria from your hands transfer to and interact with the oil on your face; the perfect scenario for new pimples to arise. It is a difficult habit to break, but you will thank yourself when you do!

5. Don’t stress about it!

Speaking from experience, as college students, managing stress levels is a lot easier said than done. Too often do we load ourselves with work and obligations that keep us on edge and running all over the place, barely giving ourselves time to breathe. You may not realize it right away, but the amount of oil in your skin directly correlates with your stress levels. The more stress your mind and body are under, the more active your oil glands become, resulting in the appearance of pimples. Put aside your stress and do not let acne be the end-all and be-all of your self confidence. Stop comparing yourself to the Instagram models and celebrities who Facetune their skin to be 100% flawless, because that is just not the reality.

Before I leave you to test these tips out for yourself, I wanted to mention a few of my go-to skincare products that have helped keep my acne under control. 

1. Use Tea Tree Oil as spot treatment or Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

2. Curology (it’s worth the try)

3. Lush face masks (work great as exfoliators!)

4. Rosehip or Jojoba Oil

5. Thayers Witch Hazel 

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Overall, remember you are not alone in the fight against acne and you are not the only one struggling. Acne is an unfortunate thing everyone faces at one point in their lives, unless you were blessed with naturally acne-free skin and in that case, I wish! I am no dermatologist and I am not going to claim that these tips are the answers to all your skin problems, but I hope they help maybe just a little.